Our #Fix65th coalition and Councilmember Johnson’s support were just what was needed to make #fix65th a priority for Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), and late in 2016 the City funded and began to plan for a safer, more functional street.
Making NE 65th a great street for people who walk, bike, take the bus, shop, go to school, and live is even more critical now than ever with the Roosevelt Light Rail Station due to open in 2021.
photo: Dongho Chang, Seattle City Chief Traffic Engineer
Make sure to attend the next SDOT #Fix65th Open House on May 18 to see what else is in the works for 2017. If you can’t attend the May 18 meeting, SDOT has an on-line survey up in May to record your ideas as well.
SDOT Open House to #Fix65th
When: Thursday May 18, 2017 from 6 to 8 PM
Where: Roosevelt High School, 1410 NE 66th St
Who: Everyone who lives, works, plays, or travels along NE 65th St.
What: Review concept plans for 2017 safety and see what’s already been improved
Getting east-west in Seattle is hard. The Madison Rapid Ride Plus corridor project could be a big improvement for Seattle, and make it easier for everyone to get east-west. Unfortunately, while the project’s latest draft looks good for people who walk and take transit, it no longer includes a safe nearby bike route.
The Madison project, along with the other seven Rapid Ride Plus projects, was sold to voters as bringing improvements for people who walk, bike, and take transit. The levy promised to build “improved sidewalks and crosswalks to make it easier and safer to walk to the bus” and to construct “either physical separation between people biking from people driving on the street or create an alternative parallel route for people to bike.”
Now the city is going back on its promises. The latest draft of the Madison project will not build a safe nearby route on Union St for people to bike.
Tell SDOT Director Scott Kubly and the Madison team: Keep the levy’s promises and fund and build a safe route for people to bike as part of the Madison Rapid Ride project.
Email: email@example.com and MadisonBRT@seattle.gov
Memorial Walk for highlights why safe streets are not gentrification.
“Working people of all nationalities need safe bike routes…so [they] don’t have to make dangerous decisions to get to their jobs“~ Councilmember Kshama Sawant
“Safe transit, bike lanes, sidewalks & other safety infrastructure is NOT gentrification, they are our is right”~Phyllis Porter, Rainier Valley Greenways
Ronacin Tjhung, was hit and killed in January 2017 while riding his bicycle between his two jobs in the Rainier Valley.
Ronacin had been providing for his children by working 60 hours a week and sending money back home to the Philippines. His five children, who lost their mother to Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, will remain in the Philippines. What was once a crowd-funded site to raise money to support Ronacin’s family and pay medical bills is now a fund to fly his body back home and pay for his funeral. Here’s a link to Ronacin’s GoFundMe crowd-funding site.
Ronacin’s large family attended a Memorial for him, organized by Beacon Hill Safe Streets, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, and Rainier Valley Greenways.Ronacin’s mother, sister, brother, and step-father, along with his extended family, the Filipino Team MANG cycling club, and impressive numbers of people representing local safe streets groups throughout Seattle walked from the Othello Light Rail Station to South Graham Street on Martin Luther King Avenue South near the spot Ronacin was hit by a car driver.
Robert Getch from Beacon Hill Safe Streets did a stellar job organizing and speaking. He was eloquent about the need for safer streets and about his grief at the loss of a valued family man. Phyllis Porter represented Rainier Valley Greenways and spoke about how “safe transit, bike lanes, sidewalks, and other safety infrastructure is NOT gentrification, but an important right for all. Central Greenways Shirley Savel spray-painted a ghost bike, and Adam Dodge set it up at the place Ronacin was killed.
Phyllis Porter, Kshama Sawant, Robert Getch spoke at the Memorial for Ronacin
Councilmember Kshama Sawant spoke about why working people needed to be able to have transportation options late at night, especially in low income, culturally diverse areas where access to cars is prohibitively expensive and transit is not reliable during the late night and early morning shifts of many service jobs. She brought up the need for a safe, direct bike route through Rainier Valley, and the importance of signals that would help people cross MLK more quickly and safely.
Council President Bruce Harrell offered words of comfort to Ronacin’s family encouraged them to keep involved in making Seattle a better city.
Council President Bruce Harrell spoke at the Memorial for Ronacin Tjhung
Council member Rob Johnson’s staff Amy Gore attended, as well as CM Sawant’s assistant Rebekah Liebermann. Seattle Police accompanied the group and Dongho Chang represented the Seattle Department of Transportation.
Ronacin’s sister Jessica told a little about his life, his boss at McDonald’s spoke about his humor and dedication, and Ronacin’s mother reached out for hugs from the 70 people at the Memorial.
The Seattle Bicycle Master Plan includes recommendations for protected north-south bicycle lanes through Rainier Valley, but a direct bicycle route has never been built.
Walking to Graham and MLK
Ghost Bike near S Graham St and MLK Ave S where Ronacin was struck
The purpose of this letter is to express our support for the Mayor’s declaration of Seattle as a Sanctuary City, committed to shielding undocumented immigrants from the threat of deportation and family separation. President Trump has expressed his intent through executive order to punish sanctuary cities by threatening to revoke their federal funding. Because of the City of Seattle’s principled stand, under some scenarios, the President’s position may put into question billions of federal dollars annually for infrastructure and other essential municipal services for Seattle and the region, which could in turn have a direct impact on projects and policies we have advocated for, together.
Our crumbling streets can be rebuilt later – our humanity cannot. In Seattle, we trust in our ability to draw on significant internal resources to continue to maintain and improve our street infrastructure while we continue to protect and welcome people new to Seattle who come here from across the world.
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways coalition members are located throughout Seattle, from Lake City to Rainier Beach. As part of our organizing model, we ally and support those groups that bring neighbors together in positive, construc- tive gatherings and coalesce to defend basic human rights, including the work of One America. Immigrants are mem- bers of our coalitions and communities, and all of us deserve access to basic, safe infrastructure.
Immigrant and refugee communities have taken action to support community transportation improvements including the Move Seattle Levy. Recently One America and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways partnered on distributing “Hate Has No Home Here” multi-lingual yard signs. And sadly, immigrant communities are often our partners on Vision Zero Memorial Walks following traffic fatalities. Together, we strive to put people first in a manner that recognizes how creating a more equitable community can mean taking important risks.
We resolve to support people of color, children, the elderly, the other-abled, and the people who cannot afford to travel by means other than by transit, on foot or by bike. We will continue to do what we can to ensure their safety comes first, even–especially–as we face the possibility of an unsupportive federal administration. We will support Seattle in its efforts to protect and increase federal investments in critical transportation infrastructure needs. And we will oppose actions by federal authorities, like using the threat of cuts to federal funding to compel the City to undermine values that we cherish.
One of our active community members has taken to delivering flower bulbs by cargo bike, “because we’ll need to see signs of hope in the spring.” We will look to the spring of 2017 as a time to celebrate our diverse community.
Wishing you strength and happiness in 2017.
Rich Stolz, Executive Director One America
Cathy Tuttle, Executive Director Seattle Neighborhood Greenways
As you may have seen in the media, the One Center City process is well underway. One Center City aims to “bring together many communities, perspectives and partners, to create a 20-year plan for how we move through, connect to, and experience Seattle’s Center City neighborhoods.” As part of the One Center City process,Seattle Neighborhood Greenways and Cascade Bicycle Club are proposing a Basic Bike Network as an early implementation strategy. This interim strategy will allow the city to improve mobility and safety quickly, and collect data about how a connected network of safe places to bike downtown would work best.
Sign up to get involved with this campaign by checking the box below that reads“District 7: Connect Uptown to SLU and beyond.“
Our downtown streets are crowded and offer limited bike connections. A connected network of safe bicycle lanes is essential to efficiently move people.
One Center City (OCC) Though the OCC process will eventually produce a comprehensive multi-modal plan for downtown, people need safe places to bike as soon as possible. A pilot basic bike network would make a sensible early deliverable for OCC to make bicycling safer and inform the final plans based on data from the pilot network
Data collection A pilot network would allow the city to “test” bike facilities, collect data, and make evidence-based decisions about the final OCC plan.
Reliable mobility options are needed Bicycling is a reliable way to travel to, from and within downtown — even when transit is delayed. Implementing a basic bike network will provide more people with a failsafe mobility option.
Calgary offers the best example of quickly implementing a basic bike network, setting realistic target metrics and collecting pre- and post data during an 18-month pilot. After the pilot, Calgary voted to make the network permanent.
Major takeaways include:
Bike mode share doubled in three months
Improved safety along the most dangerous routes
Increased diversity of ridership, including women and children
Declines in illegal bicycle behavior
Little to no delays for SOV traffic
Edmonton is now following its approach, with other cities following closely behind. Other cities have demonstrated that a pilot network is a successful model: Seattle’s plan coupled with the comprehensive multimodal OCC process would truly make it a transportation leader amongst our peer cities.
For more information contact: Padelford at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.seattlegreenways.org
or Kelsey Mesher email@example.com, (206) 769-1069 www.cascade.org
Sign up to get involved with this campaign by checking the box below that reads“District 7: Connect Uptown to SLU and beyond.“
During First Thursday Art Walks in Pioneer Square, car parking is free from 5 pm to 10 pm at three parking garages listed below. To redeem, pick up a voucher at participating Pioneer Square stores, restaurants, or galleries.
Sixty years ago, Seattle’s streets were radically remade with the goal of moving vehicles as quickly as possible: sidewalks were narrowed, crosswalk beg buttons installed, an extensive streetcar system dismantled, low income homes bulldozed for roads, and speed limits increased. Ever since we have been paying dearly for these mistakes.
Today there were 30 crashes on Seattle’s streets. Same with yesterday, tomorrow, and every day on average. Every year 150 people suffer life altering injuries and 20 are killed from these crashes. Each serious injury and fatality is a story of tragedy for individuals, families, friends, and communities.
One day, Brie Gyncild had had enough. Brie lives in the Central District, walks everywhere, loves cats, deeply cares about her community, and is a passionate advocate who isn’t afraid to speak her mind. At the annual meeting where our grassroots neighborhood group leaders set our priorities, Brie reminded us all that Vision Zero isn’t just a goal to end traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2030, it’s a commitment to transform our streets into safe places for people. She persuaded us that the next step was safer speed limits.
One person can spark a movement. Because of Brie, in 2016 Seattle Neighborhood Greenways mobilized people just like you throughout the city to build support for safer speed limits by talking to their neighbors, community groups, and local business owners. By the end of the year 22 groups had sent the Mayor and City Council letters of support, dozens people testified to City Council, and hundreds who emailed or called in their support.
Our advocates continued to build positive support until the Mayor and City Council voted proposed and unanimously approved safer speed limits. Now all 2,400 miles of Seattle’s non-arterial streets are designated for 20 MPH, and all of Downtown’s streets have been designated for 25 MPH.
The story isn’t over yet. We all know that designating new speed limits isn’t enough – we must design our streets to be safe and comfortable for people of all ages and abilities. That’s why in 2017 one of our priorities is to increase funding for the Seattle Department of Transportation’s Vision Zero safety program. This is only one piece of the puzzle, another piece is you.
We all want our children to be able to safely walk or bike to school. Unfortunately, there is limited funding for engineering safety improvements at all of our schools. Seattle Neighborhood Greenways (SNG) interns Ranju Uezono and Raymond Pacheco led SNG outreach to very low income schools in 2016 to help prioritize spending in ways that were meaningful and effective to local communities.
SNG also worked with historically underserved school communities to develop a set of ideas, translated into 6 languages, of Low Cost Ideas for SDOT Mini Grants. Schools are now working on crossing flag programs, school patrols, walking audits, and other inexpensive but highly effective programs.
The SNG staff and interns also hosted assemblies, led walk audits, and met with parents and school staff to create a prioritized list of the investments that local people felt was most needed most to get their children to school safely. All of this work helped to shape the major projects being built with Move Seattle Levy funding by Seattle Department of Transportation at Seattle’s low income schools.
Read more about the SNG Safe Routes to School 2016 priority program here.
In 2016 we advocated for policy and street projects that create safe access for all people.
On the policy side we worked to ensure that Seattle’s Comprehensive Master Plan (the highest level plan the city has), Right of Way Improvement Manaul (blue prints for street design), and other policies and plans supported complete streets.
After years of advocacy work by University Greenways we finally celebrated the opening of the Roosevelt Way complete street project. Originally SDOT planned to only repave the
Families open the Roosevelt Way Complete Street project. Photo by SBB
dangerous street, but we successfully advocated to include safety upgrades for people walking and biking. The biggest change you’ll see on the street if you visit is the new protected bike lane, curb bulbs to make it easier to walk across the street, and more happy families getting to where they need to go safetly.
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, along with our local groups and partners, have been advocating for multimodal corridor projects to fund walking and biking improvements – not just transit. We worked on the Roosevelt-Downtown corridor and Madison BRT projects in 2016, and we will continue to make sure these and other projects truly work for everyone in 2017.
The SW Admiral Way safety project on the west side, including buffered bike lanes, new cross walks, narrower traffic lanes, and radar speed feedback signs was completed.
West Seattle Bike Connections successfully campaigned to get full funding for the Fauntleroy Boulevard Project added to the 2017 budget. This project will make this currently dangerous corridor a safer place for people walking, biking, taking transit, and driving.
West Seattle Bike Connections successfully campaigned to repair a problematic hazard spot on the Duwamish Trail. Jump back to the top
Building the Base for Big Change in Rainier Valley and Beacon Hill (District 2)
Thanks to you we achieved three major wins in 2016 in Rainier Valley and Beacon Hill: full funding for the expansion of the Rainier Ave Safety project to Rainier Beach, acceleration Accessible Mt Baker, and funding to improve the Beacon Hill Town Center.
Fix Rainier Ave
Rainier Ave S has been Seattle’s most dangerous street for years. Rainier Valley Greenways worked for the second year in a row to make Rainier Ave S safe for people to walk and bike along and across. We sought to expand the safety corridor project, create safe crossings and build protected bike lanes from Hillman City to Columbia City.
A year after the implementation in Hillman and Columbia City, the data shows the Rainier Ave Safety Corridor Project is working: injuries for people walking and biking are down 41%, top end speeding is down 50% northbound and 84% southbound, and transit travel times haven’t changed southbound and have improved northbound.
But we knew there was more to be done. All neighborhoods in Rainier Valley deserve a safer Rainier Ave S, not just Columbia and Hillman City. That’s why we rallied with other neighborhood groups from Friends of Mt Baker Town Center to Rainier Beach Merchants Association to extend the safety corridor project. Thanks to your help, we successfully worked with Bruce Harrell to get a million dollars added for the project to the City’s budget!
Accessible Mt Baker
We worked with the Friends of Mt Baker Town Center and the Mt Baker Hub Business Association to successfully accelerate funding for the exciting community building and safety project, Accessible Mt Baker. Accessible Mt Baker will fix this nasty and dangerous intersection. It will make it easier to catch the bus, bike to downtown, and walk across the street to the light rail station or high school.
Beacon Hill Town Center
Beacon Hill Safe Streets got interim safety improvements in front of the library and transit station
Beacon Hill Safe Streets successfully advocated this year to improve the heart of North Beacon Hill. They worked with the Beacon Hill Merchants Association and the community to get the city to implement near term pedestrian safety improvements (the new curb bulbs by the library), create a transportation plan in 2017. Their efforts will make it safer to catch transit, easier to walk and bike to the library and stores, and create a thriving and accessible town center for all.
8 Steps Forward for Capitol Hill, the Central District, and Madison Valley (District 3)
Thank you to everyone who helped our local groups take so many steps forward this year! We couldn’t have done it without everyone who volunteered for Central Seattle Greenways, Madison Greenways, or the First Hill Improvement Association. We hope you will continue to support this important work 2017, but first let’s reflect on what we accomplished together:
Thanks to our auditing and advocacy SDOT is planning to improve the Central North-South Neighborhood Greenway – such as smoothing jarring speed humps, correcting signs, and connecting it successfully to Montlake where it currently dead ends.
Central Seattle Greenways worked with the cool community at Bailey Gatzert to win safe routes to school improvements. The curb bulb and stop sign change at 14th & Washington will make it much safer.
The First Hill Improvement Association worked with a developer to include building and maintaining a public plaza Pavement To Parks project.
Andres Salomon and Scott Cooper were awarded Northeast District Council support during the Neighborhood Park & Street Fund process in 2016.
Andres and Scott know crossing i-5 is important for people of all ages walking to and from Green Lake Elementary, grocery stores, senior housing, Roosevelt High School, local business districts, and many other other important community assets. Andres and Scott know these community connections will become even more important when light rail opens in Roosevelt in 2021.
In addition to support from NE District Council, Andres and Scott have successfully lobbied WSDOT and SDOT to consider safety improvements over and under I-5 that use paint and posts to control traffic speeds.
More safe and dignified I-5 crossings in 2017 are being planned by the coalition that includes NE Seattle Greenways and neighbors who want to #Fix65th.
Making Connections Across North Seattle (District 5)
Lee Bruch from Licton Haller Greenways gathered a coalition of people from Greenwood Phinney Greenways, Aurora Licton Urban Village and other community groups that wanted to make sure 1600 kids had a safe way to walk to the new Robert Eagle Staff school opening in 2017. Their campaign center around safe routes to school along N 90th and 92nd Streets.
Lee and his team did walking and biking audits, gave presentations to local councils, and reached out to neighbors. They found sympathetic staff at the Washington Department of Transportation, Seattle Department of Transportation, and Seattle Public Schools who shared their vision.
Licton-Haller Greenwood Phinney Greenways received both a Neighborhood Park & Street Fund and Neighborhood Street Fund award for their work. Their hard work resulted in more than $1 million for street improvements including a signal on Aurora Avenue North.
In 2017, the coalition of District 5 safe streets groups is turning their attention to getting funding for safer routes to the new transit stations opening soon in Northgate, 130th N and 145th N. Stay tuned!
In 2015 and 2016, Ballard Greenways made safer routes to school along 6th Ave NW their highest priority. Students at four elementary schools — Pacific Crest, West Woodland, Greenwood and St. John’s — would benefit from a north-south route on the eastern side of Ballard.
West Woodland neighbors led policy walks, talked to City staff and elected officials, and tried to get Neighborhood Park & Street funding for their safer route to schools.
In 2015, Ballard Greenways leader, dad, and Alta Design & Planning landscape architect Chris Saleeba took a slightly different approach. He worked with a group of neighbors and business owners on a Tactical Urbanism project to let people in Ballard experience a safer route to local schools. Chris’s design won the first PARKing Day Plus Design Competition award and neighbors got to see a safer crossing at 6th Ave NW and NW 65th.
2nd Prize Winner 6th NW & NW 65th Street Crossing
This year, Chris has been helping Seattle Department of Transportation to build this clever protected intersection permanently in the West Woodland Ballard neighborhood.
The D6 district, that also includes Greenwood-Phinney, is looking to make another protected intersection work better for people who walk and ride bikes at NW 83rd and Greenwood NW in 2017.
7 Wins this year for Queen Anne, Uptown, and District 7
Walking surges! Pedestrian commuters increased a stunning 50.2% reports the SeattleMet. And this isn’t starting from a small base: “people who walked to work went from a legit 29,070 (8.6 percent of all commuters) in 2010 to 43,665 (nearly 11 percent) in 2015.” Thank you for your work to make our streets more walkable – it’s working!
Queen Anne Greenways successfully advocated for the city to build the direct connection between the Westlake bike path and the Mercer St underpass. This connection will be built when the property that is currently owned by the city between 9th and Dexter is redeveloped. We also applied for a grant to upgrade the Roy St bike lane, but were unsuccessful this year.
Photo of Mercer St underpass by SBB
The First Hill Improvement Association won a grant to make Freeway Park more accessible and welcoming.
Freeway Park Entrances
Queen Anne Greenways hosted a community building play street.
Finally, the intersection at 7th and McGraw near Cole Elementary got some safety improvements – a wider crosswalk and curb.
We worked to make to incorporate safety improvements for people walking in the Nickerson St repaving.
Last, but not least, Queen Anne Greenways continues to work with SDOT on designs to fix the scary 7-way intersection on Queen Anne.
The Promise of Seattle Boulevards is a 2016 workshop and report from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, supported by Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation (SPR), the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods (DON), and the Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks (FSOP). The recommendations of this group centered on the best use of current boulevards and a design framework to help to determine how boulevards can function equitably as both parks and transportation for all.
The history of Seattle’s boulevard system is closely tied to the Olmsted legacy, which left Seattle with a promise of a citywide system of linear landscapes. The idea of connecting people to the remarkably beautiful landscapes and vistas of Seattle predates the Olmsteds, and continues to this day as we evolve to meet the open space needs of future generations, preserving and maintaining design intent, while connecting people to places.
What are our challenges?
Our Seattle network of boulevards were not designed for the vehicle speeds or volumes typically seen today. Early boulevards were designed as slow pleasure drives linking scenic resources for early-model cars on gravel-lined roads. Boulevards today often lack intended connectivity, and higher design speed limits the safe use of boulevards for family-friendly recreational purposes, particularly by people walking or biking.
Seattle, through its Race and Social Justice Initiative, has a goal to eliminate disparities and achieve racial equity. How can we ensure equitable access on our boulevard system (culturally relevant, ADA, multimodal, and geographically distributed) and create a city where park-like qualities blend into our streets, where parks are accessible for people of all incomes, ages and abilities, all while celebrating our history? How can SPR, SDOT, and DON develop shared practices and principles to streamline interdepartmental work on our rich public space inventory? How can we create a transparent process for community involvement?
Funding to create a North Beacon Hill Multimodal Transportation Study to allow much needed safety and community building projects to move forward.
Moving up the Bicycle Master Plan (Cascade Bicycle Club led the charge on this!) and Pedestrian Master Plan spending so we can design and build more safe streets sooner.
Additional funding for Safe Routes to School ($400,000 from red light cameras).
Directing SDOT to use best practices for streetcar & bike collision safety.
Other great improvements to the budget: Funding to conduct a condition assessment of Seattle’s $5.3 billion sidewalk system to support smart investments in sidewalk repairs, a new grant writer position to help SDOT leverage Move Seattle funding, and a section of sidewalk for the Meadowbrook neighborhood.
We wouldn’t have these successes without your calls, testimony, and letters! It’s caring people like you who make a difference in our world. Thank you.
If you can take a minute to thank our elected officials who listened to you, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and thank them. Below is a sample email.
Dear Seattle City Council,
Thank you all for supporting safer streets in budget process. In particular thank you to
Council President Bruce Harrell for funding to fix Rainier Ave S, accelerate Accessible Mt Baker, and plan for a safe Beacon Hill Town Center.
Councilmember Lisa Herbold for finding additional funding for Safe Routes to School
Councilmember Mike O’Brien for the sidewalk assessment, SDOT grant writer, streetcar safety SLI, and accelerating the Bicycle Master Plan.
Councilmember Debora Juarez for a Meadowbrook sidewalk.
Councilmember Johnson for supporting many of these transportation budget additions.
Thank you for your leadership in making our streets safer for all people.
First Hill is a growing urban neighborhood woefully short of adequate open space. High property values have made acquisition of traditional park property difficult. To address these challenges, the First Hill Public Realm Action Plan was created. One element of the PRAP included adaptive reuse of right-of-way into public open space in the form of Seattle’s first two pavement parks. The Pavement Parks are located at the intersections of University St., Union St. and Boylston Ave. (UUB) and 9th Ave. and University St. (9U)
The First Hill Improvement Association (FHIA) has taken a role in activating these places over the last two summers. Public events in these spaces have included a Street Reading Party, Trivia Night, Bingo Night, Street Games Festival, a guided Tree Walk, and a Pop-Up Petting Zoo which delighted hundreds of neighbors.
In addition, FHIA is leading a community visioning process for First Hill Park, a quarter-acre park along the University Street Greenway. Hundreds of neighbors participated through guiding what the future of the park will look like, and a preferred concept design has been approved. We are now in the construction document development phase, and anticipate opening a newly designed Park in Spring of 2018.
Private development adjacent to the UUB Pavement Park is proposing to fully realize and build out the vision for the UUB pavement park as part of their public benefits package for 1320 University St. The vision includes a permanent public open space with lighting, landscaping, seating and awnings. The DRB meeting for this project is November 16th at 8pm.
The next phase of the First Hill Public Realm Action Plan, after the completion of the UUB pocket park, is the potential for a two-block woonerf along Terry Ave. from Cherry St. to Marion St. Along this stretch of Terry Ave. FHIA is actively seeking funding from private developers to realize this vision.